While we were eating lunch, my phone buzzed twice. It didn’t sound like a normal text message.
Tornado warning in this area until 2:15 pm
My phone is telling me to take shelter. My gut is telling me that today is a bad day.
Tom hasn’t touched his soup yet. We have a tight schedule today. Had not figured on a tornado.
What should we do?
Tom looked at the Weather Channel app. There it was, Tornado Warning. Vinings County and heading toward us at 45 mph.
All was calm outside. I walked out the front door. Gentle rain falling, no wind.
We kept eating lunch, and talked about where to go. “What’s the best interior space?” The condo master bedroom has a walk-in closet – that’s the only space without windows.
I went out to the patio and with Tom’s direction, folded up the lounge chairs, inverted the tables, moved the chairs up against the condo walls. We don’t want anything flung against the sliding glass doors.
The wind picked up suddenly. Trees flailing.
We gathered ourselves to go hide in the closet.
We trusted our information systems.
I remembered something about tornado preparation – leaving a few windows open, just a sliver, to prevent the pressure from busting all of them.
I remembered 7 or 8 years ago, being at the house on Azalea with Tom during a tornado warning. We went into the utility room, deep against the foundation of the house, no windows.
There was a sound like a freight train, huffing and puffing. The sky was green.
The winds shook the giant trees. They stood. The house stood. The winds passed over us.
All day today I felt something bad was going to happen. But I don’t trust my gut. I trust my information systems, and I trust Tom.
Tom has been through so many emergencies, he is unfazed by a tornado warning. He goes to a calm, clear mental space. He doesn’t rush or panic. He takes a moment and thinks.
While I ran around the condo opening windows and turning off lights and putting the dishes away, Tom gathered up a few blankets, his medication, his devices, and took them into the bedroom.
The winds had already calmed down. We sensed that the moment has passed, but it wasn’t yet 2:15 and the warning was still on.
We laid down on the bed to rest. Waited for the warning to expire.
I fell asleep. I could feel Tom next to me.
I trust the EAS. I know which information systems to trust.
Not all phones and not all carriers connect to the EAS. The system is geographically based, so all cell towers within the prescribed range broadcast the message.
Check with your carrier to find out if you’re on the EAS. Make sure your phone is set to receive the alerts. You can opt out of weather alerts and AMBER alerts.
But there are also presidential alerts. You can’t opt out of those.
So what happens when Donald Trump discovers the EAS? Will he use it like he uses Twitter?
Today’s penny is a 2006. As of Dec. 31, 2006, smart phones were required to participate in EAS.